Liverpool v Sheffield United: Live matchday blog
Goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane helped Liverpool beat Sheffield United 2-0 in the Premier League to restore their 13-point lead at the top of the standings.
Jürgen Klopp's verdict
The manager delivered his assessment of Liverpool's 2-0 win over Sheffield United in his post-match press conference at Anfield tonight.
You can read it in full by clicking here.
Start the year as we mean to go on 🔴 #YNWA https://t.co/V2ZHbqVwRe— TrentAA (Trent Alexander-Arnold) 2nd Jan 23:08
Naby Keita injury update
Jürgen Klopp offered an update on Naby Keita during his post-match press conference after the midfielder was forced to pull out of the game having been named in the starting line-up after sustaining an injury in the pre-match warm-up.
He said: “I don’t know exactly what he has – it was the groin – but I can say already he will not be involved against Everton.
“That makes it 12 adult players we have [available], plus the kids, so that’s not cool, but we cannot change it.
“I have no clue how it happened, I think it was the last shot in the warm-up when he felt something. He came in [the dressing room] and was limping.
“Everybody who has played football has had this kind of injury and it’s not nice, it’s painful. I don’t know exactly what it is or how long it will take, but I can say already he will not be ready for Sunday.”
Here's how the Premier League table looks after tonight's result...
Jordan Henderson reaction
Speaking to BT Sport, the captain says: "The performance level has been really high for a long period of time. We want to continue that, keep doing the things we are doing, keep improving and keep concentrating on the next challenge.
"I still think we can improve. The last 10 or 15 minutes they had a good chance. We can't afford to give teams those chances. Overall the intensity was really good. We have coped well and need to improve for the derby on Sunday."
Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield United
Liverpool's lead at the top of the Premier League is back to 13 points after a convincing victory over Sheffield United.
Mohamed Salah gave the Reds an early lead before Sadio Mane finished off a well-worked move to add a second.
Elliott comes on to make his Premier League debut as he comes on for Salah.
Two minutes have been added on...
Robertson is replaced by Lallana for the closing moments.
The opponents nearly pull one back. Stevens slips in O'Connell, who crosses for McBurnie at the back post.
The striker is outstretched and gets his toe onto the ball, but the finish goes into the ground and Alisson claims it just before it bounces over the goalline.
Mane is given a standing ovation as he's replaced by Origi.
Dean Henderson saves Mane's shot from inside the area after a neat one-two with Robertson.
Liverpool go close to adding a third as Salah's effort is turned behind for a corner.
GOALLLL!!!!! Sadio Mane!
What a move. It's superb link-up play between Salah and Mane.
The No.10 finds Salah from the right before dashing towards the box. His run is found brilliantly by the pass from his Egyptian teammate.
A sliding Mane gets off a shot that's initially saved before getting on his feet to prod home the rebound.
Off the post!
Salah's cross from the right evades the head of Van Dijk in the box, leaving Dean Henderson flat-footed.
The ball runs through and strikes the post before it's claimed by the Sheffield United goalkeeper on the rebound.
Firmino is given possession on the left before cutting inside and trying to bend one into the far corner from distance. It had Dean Henderson worried, but the ball went just wide.
Alexander-Arnold cuts inside and then shoots with his left foot as Norwood gets the block in.
Robertson puts a free-kick into dangerous area of the box. However, no player in red is able to get on the end of it and the balls goes out of play.
Milner gets the second half started.
🅰️ Robbo ⚽️ Salah #LIVSHU https://t.co/Yvt2N3yxE0— LFC (Liverpool FC) 2nd Jan 20:50
Here's how Opta saw that first half...
Liverpool 1-0 Sheffield United
The Reds head down the tunnel deservedly in front after Mohamed Salah's early opener from close range.
The Egyptian nearly added a second with a neat flick that was saved before Georginio Wijnaldum went close with a curler a short while later.
Let's keep it going after the break, lads!
Van Dijk makes a brilliant sliding tackle to thwart a threatening breakaway from the visitors.
.@takumina0116 is in the house 🤩 #LIVSHU https://t.co/GNNaKNupJB— LFC (Liverpool FC) 2nd Jan 20:32
The ball falls to Henderson just outside the box, with the Liverpool skipper's shot taking a deflection behind.
Mane looks to flick on another Alexander-Arnold whipped ball from deep. This time it runs through to Salah, who fires an effort that's saved by Dean Henderson.
Alexander-Arnold spots Milner's run into the box. It's very nearly an inch-perfect pass, but the vice-captain just can't get on the end of it.
The Reds nearly add a second with a lovely move. Firmino lays the ball off to Wijnaldum, who directs a pass to Mane.
The No.10 drives towards goal before squaring up his defender and returning possession to Wijnaldum in the box. The midfielder hits a curler that goes agonisingly over the crossbar.
Lundstram puts the ball in the back of the net, but the linesman already had his flag raised for offside.
So nearly 2-0!
Henderson finds Salah with a brilliant curling pass from deep. The Egyptian meets the ball to immediately flick it towards the goal, with Henderson pulling off an acrobatic save.
Sheffield United look to respond quickly, but Alisson pushes McGoldrick's long-range shot over for a corner.
GOALLLLLL!!!! Mo Salah!
What a start from the Reds.
Van Dijk arrows a long pass to find the run of Robertson, who then looks to find a teammate in the penalty area.
The left-back crosses and near the six-yard box is Salah to sweep beyond Henderson in the Sheffield United goal.
Norwood lofts a pass over the top searching for McGoldrick. However, Alisson is quick off his line to comfortably claim possession.
The visitors get proceedings started here.
Come on Liverpool!
The two teams emerge out of the tunnel as kick-off is moments away.
Updated team news
There's been a late change to Liverpool's starting line-up, with James Milner coming in for Naby Keita.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
A 50th Premier League appearance for this man tonight...
Inside the dressing room
Ready to go.
Here's how Opta expect the two sides to shape up...
Good evening, lads...
Klopp on his team selection
"We had a day off this week, that's like one-and-a-half weeks' holiday!" the boss told BT Sport at Anfield.
"We had a day off, we could do recovery, we had enough sessions to recover, we had training this morning - a slight session.
"That's why [there is only one change]; we could make more changes, just in the game then. That's the plan for tonight."
There's just one change for the Reds tonight - and it sees Naby Keita come in for Adam Lallana.
Nat Phillips is on the bench after being recalled from his loan with Stuttgart.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Milner, Lallana, Origi, Phillips, Jones, Elliott.
The Reds arrive for #LIVSHU 👋 https://t.co/U3JwUQmrjk— LFC (Liverpool FC) 2nd Jan 18:49
Alexander-Arnold steps up for pre-match media obligations this evening.
On this day...
Seven years ago, back in 2013, Liverpool completed the signing of Daniel Sturridge.
He scored 50 Premier League goals for the Reds before leaving the club as a European champion last summer.
Ahead of team news tonight, take a couple of minutes to relive his half-century in our YouTube video below.
Alisson wins Samba Gold
A pre-match boost for the Liverpool goalkeeper as Alisson is named the winner of the 2019 Samba Gold prize, awarded to the best Brazilian player in Europe.
The stopper took more than a third of the vote from fans, journalists and former players to see off competition from Roberto Firmino - last year's recipient - in second.
Back in anfield after 17 years with a next generation fan..some stadium now after recent developments..come on the… https://t.co/cn2csvBV9I— ClydaMan (ClydaMan) 2nd Jan 17:33
Sheffield United have collected 10 points from their past five Premier League games, with a 2-0 defeat at Manchester City on Sunday their first away loss of the season.
A draw with Watford and victories against Brighton, Aston Villa and Norwich preceded that trip to Etihad Stadium, with Wilder's men eighth in the table ahead of kick-off at Anfield.
Bring your brollies...
It's a rainy night at Anfield.
Anfield. https://t.co/Xh3XwnbYGa— James_Carroll84 (James Carroll) 2nd Jan 17:23
The lowdown on the Blades
Read our latest view from the opposition for a detailed analysis of what Liverpool can expect from tonight's visitors - including likely line-up, tactical changes, danger men and more.
Since 2000, what has been your favourite first #LFC goal of the year? Vote on our @StanChart Matchday Live poll 👇— LFC (Liverpool FC) 2nd Jan 15:42
Sadio Mane was involved in 21 goals in his 19 Premier League home games in 2019, scoring 18 and assisting three at Anfield - more than any other Premier League player at home in the calendar year.
Five on the spin?
A clean sheet tonight would mean Liverpool have recorded five consecutive Premier League shutouts for the first time since September 2007.
Is the cover star of the matchday programme...
Four goals, a clean sheet and a memorable strike ⚽️🙌 A look back at the last time we hosted @SheffieldUnited ⏪🗓️ https://t.co/z5iMPkgZHZ— LFC (Liverpool FC) 1st Jan 19:43
Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler combined for three of Liverpool's four goals in a 4-0 win over Sheffield United at Anfield in 2007, but can you recall the rest of the line-up from that February afternoon?
Test your knowledge with our Missing Men quiz below...
On this day
Liverpool last played on this day three years ago, when Daniel Sturridge and Sadio Mane were on the mark in a 2-2 draw at Sunderland.
Back on January 2, 2013, Luis Suarez scored twice as the Mackems were beaten 3-0 at Anfield.
Not bad records for the captain and vice-captain to have...
308 - Jordan Henderson played more Premier League games in this decade than any other player, one ahead of teammate… https://t.co/axpTWzWDqP— OptaJoe (OptaJoe) 30th Dec 13:06
Hendo: 'We're all made up for Joe'
Jordan Henderson feels the recent contribution of Joe Gomez serves as a fine example of the attitude that runs deep through the Liverpool dressing room.
"We all know what a massive talent Joe is, but at this level it's also about perseverance," writes the skipper in his matchday programme notes.
"It's meant the world to all of us to see how he's stepped up yet again and is playing with such confidence and control.
"I think his situation is a great example to any player that hard work and only hard work is the path to achieving something special - be it as a person or a team."
A reminder of how the top of the Premier League is looking ahead of tonight's match...
Our visitors held a pre-match session with a difference this morning by training in the shadow of Anfield in Stanley Park...
No airs and graces, just hard work 😉 https://t.co/QBsgPpNW99— SheffieldUnited (Sheffield United) 2nd Jan 11:12
Fittingly, the Reds ended a spectacular 2019 with a win, thanks to Sadio Mane's strike that saw off Wolves 1-0 last Sunday.
Watch the behind-the-scenes story of that victory with Inside Anfield...
Did you know?
Liverpool will have gone a whole calendar year unbeaten in the Premier League if they avoid defeat tonight.
Robbo on new year aims and Blades test
We caught up with Andy Robertson ahead of tonight's game and the left-back told us that Liverpool want to make 2020 even better than their 'incredible' 2019.
"Of course, there’s not much point in us standing still. Look, it’s going to be a tough year to top in terms of winning the Champions League and the tally in the Premier League and stuff like that, but that has to be our aim," Robertson said.
On the task ahead against the Blades, the Scotland captain stated: "They’re so hard to play against. You know you are coming up against a team with 11 lads who are drilled very well and they buy in to everything that their manager does.
"We know what we’re coming up against but I’m sure they do as well and if we’re at our best then we believe we can win the game."
Gini Wijnaldum struck late to secure a narrow 1-0 win for the Reds over Sheffield United earlier in the season.
Watch the best bits of that game at Bramall Lane back below...
Takumi Minamino trained with his new teammates for the first time as Liverpool's preparations for tonight's game continued at Melwood on New Year's Eve.
Check out our exclusive video and photo gallery of the session...
Liverpool have no fresh fitness concerns to contend with ahead of tonight's game, but the absences of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabinho, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip through injury mean Jürgen Klopp's options are more limited than he would like.
“It is not only about rhythm and who plays together with who, we don’t have in all positions massive alternatives, so a few of them have to go again and hopefully they can. Apart from that, it’s just about the opponent and shape,” the boss said.
“They are all in a good shape, so I’m happy with that. It is not the biggest number and it’s not always easy to make the right decisions.”
Takumi Minamino is ineligible to make his Reds debut this evening due to transfer registration regulations.
A New Year... with new and even bigger challenges ahead. One thing that doesnt change, the usual suspects will be… https://t.co/1nceKjQCJo— SFoodbanks (Fans Supporting Foodbanks) 2nd Jan 08:56
Jürgen Klopp held his pre-match press conference at Melwood yesterday.
Catch up with everything the boss discussed with the media below...
Compare the Reds' and the Blades' Premier League seasons so far below...
Happy new year!
Liverpool begin 2020 by hosting Sheffield United in the Premier League tonight.
And, if you want to follow the best live coverage of all the build-up, action and post-match reaction from Anfield, you're in the right place.